After winning Shooto's Pacific Rim title by defeating Tetsu "Hada-iro" Suzuki via unanimous decision, Yuta "Uruka" Sasaki told the fans, "I want to go for the world title. If Kyoji Horiguchi becomes a champion then I would like to challenge him."
Horiguchi currently ranks second in Shooto's world ranking but apparently "Uruka" believes a youngster from team KILLER BEE is the best at this weight class. He didn't even mention anything about a current champion Hiromasa Ogikubo.
At the post-fight interview booth, Sasaki even went far as saying, "I want Horiguchi to win a world title. I have a confident that I can beat him."
If Sasaki's goal is capturing Shooto's world title then why is he insist on fighting Horiguchi?
As a Shooto's new Pacific Rim champion, it may be easier for him to try to get to the title fight against Ogikubo but he is only thinking Horiguchi.
There are rumors circulating that Ogikubo may go down to 125 lbs, and also, Horiguchi may also be looking to go down to 125 lbs, and in that case, there is a possibility that Horiguchi may get a call from the UFC.
Sasaki has been talking Horiguchi fight ever since he came down to 135 lbs last year so he may be feeling there isn't much time left for him to get an opportunity to fight the fighter he believes the best in Shooto's 135 lbs division.
Which means, if Sasaki couldn't get to the fight against Horiguchi, then he may cross the Pacific Ocean to seek his opportunity in North America later this year.
Sunday, January 20th, 2013
At Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The Main Event – Shooto Pacific Rim Featherweight (135 lbs) Championship Bout 5 min / 3R
Tetsu "Hadai-ro" Suzuki (Japan / Naked Man Jiujitsu) vs. Yuta "Uruka" Sasaki (Japan / Tsudanuma Dojo)
Winner: 3R Yuta "Uruka" Sasaki by Decision (28-29, 28-29, 28-29)
8th Match – Shooto Pacific Rim Welterweight (155 lbs) Championship Bout 5 min / 3R
Shinji Sasaki (Japan / BURST) vs. Shin Kochiwa (Japan / Wajiutsu Keishukai Tokyo Headquarters)
Winner: 2R 4'24" Shinji Sasaki by TKO
7th Match – Lightweight (145 lbs) Bout 5 min / 3R
Wataru Miki (Japan / NATURAL 9) vs Jung Gyeong Lee (Korea / TEAM Challenge)
Winner: 2R 2'57" Wataru Miki by Submission (rear naked choke)
6th Match – Bantamweight (125 lbs) Bout 5 min / 3R
Ryuichi Miki (Japan / CAVE) vs Ung Hyeon Kim (Korea / TEAM Kz)
Winner: 2R 2'28" Ryuichi Miki by KO (g n p)
5th Match – Lightweight (145 lbs) Bout 5 min / 3R
Shigeki Osawa (Japan / Freelance) vs Kazuya Satomoto (Japan / Paraestra Hiroshima)
Winner: 2R 3'44" Shigeki Osawa by TKO
4th Match – Bantamweight (125 lbs) Bout 5 min / 2R
"Rambo" Kosuke (Japan / Paraestra Chiba) vs Hiroshi Roppongi (Japan / STF)
Winner: 2R "Rambo" Kosuke by Decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18)
3rd Match – 62 Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 2R
Yo Saito (Japan / Wajiutsu Keishukai Toikatsu Dojo) vs Motohiro "Crazy D / Mad Dog" Takenawa (Japan / BURST)
Winner: 1R 3'34" Yo Saito by Submission (rear naked choke)
2nd Match – 62 Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 2R
Yoshinori Suzuki (Japan / Paraestra Matsudo) vs Ukyo Abe (Japan / STF)
Winner: 2R 2'21" Yoshinori Suzuki by TKO (punches)
1st Match – Lightweight (145 lbs) Bout 5 min / 2R
Takanori Takahashi (Japan / AKZA) vs Daisuke "Sasuga Dokuganryu" Sasaki (Japan / Brave Heart)
Winner: 2R Daisuke "Sasuga Dokuganryu" Sasaki by Decision (19-20, 19-20, 18-20)
Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of Bout Review (www.boutreview.com)